Afflictions evidence to ourselves, and manifest to others, the reality of grace. When we suffer as Christians, exercise some measure of that patience and submission, and receive some measure of these supports and supplies, which the Gospel requires and promises to believers—we are more confirmed that we have not taken up with mere notions; and others may be convinced that we do not follow cunningly devised fables. — John Newton
One of the amazing ways God uses suffering is to show us how much he has changed us, which assures us we’ve believed the truth.
When we suffer and trust God instead of grumbling or complaining like we would have in the past, it showcases God’s transforming work in us. When we’re afflicted and we don’t doubt God’s sovereignty or goodness like we did a few years back, it shows the progress God’s grace is making in our lives.
When we suffer affliction and we’re not shaken it demonstrates the reality of God’s work in our lives. When we experience deep peace and even a deep joy despite our trials it proves we haven’t believed a fable. God’s grace has really changed us and is truly at work in us.
When someone abuses us and we’re kind in return, it shows that God is real, for no one naturally responds to unkindness with kindness. When someone curses us and we bless them in return we can see how much God has changed us, for no one normally does this.
If you are going through a trial right now, pray for grace, comfort and strength. But also observe the way God has already worked. Would you have trusted God this way 10 years ago? Would you have rejoiced and offered thanks this way as an unbeliever? Would you have persevered without grumbling or responded to disrespect with such gentleness before?
All this proves you have a real hope. You are standing on a true rock. You haven’t believed in vain. Why not take a moment to praise Jesus for the great work he’s done in your life?